How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. That advice came from my husband, probably said as I was gasping for breath on some steep climb up said mountain. I love to hike. There’s something about getting outside and being in nature with nothing but what you can carry on your back. Hiking doesn't have to mean slogging up a mountain, huffing and puffing to the point that you’re not enjoying the experience. I can’t recall the exact hike we were on when my husband gave me that advice about climbing mountains because I think of that advice every time I face a challenge. It reminds me that as with life, hiking isn't about the goal but the journey. There’s a path for all of us – literally and figuratively. Here are some suggestions for a variety of hiking trails throughout Loudoun offering everything from rugged wilderness terrain to a leisurely stroll through the woods. We hope you enjoy every step you take on your next journey.
Appalachian Trail Stretching over 2000 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, the AT enters Virginia along the western edge of Loudoun County where it soon ascends and descends about a dozen times, earning this section the nickname “Virginia’s Rollercoaster.” The AT can be accessed from Route 7 at Bear’s Den and Pine Grove.
Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Preserving the site of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, this park offers a one mile hiking trail with interpretive signs. The national cemetery here is one of the smallest in the country.
Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve This 725 acre nature preserve features over 20 miles of trails through various habitats, offering ample opportunity to observe the diverse wildlife population.
Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship This 894 acre property is home to deep woods and streams, wildflower meadows, an organic farm, and more. Open for hiking daily from dawn to dusk and for camping by reservation.
Claude Moore Park Eleven miles of hiking trails take you through woodlands, wildflower meadows, wetlands, and ponds – a peaceful walk in the woods perfect for bird watching or taking photos.
Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park A 1.2 mile loop trail takes you over hills and through woods to a panoramic view of the Potomac River with trails ranging from moderate to strenuous.